The Canon was Decided at the Council of Orlando

The Canon was Decided at the Council of Orlando January 10, 2014

IO9 reported that Disney is apparently holding a meeting to determine what will be considered part of the Star Wars canon and what won’t. It is as though we have entered a parallel universe in which Dan Brown is right about the formation of the canon, only his timing is off and the canon is that of Star Wars rather than the Christian Bible.

Still, even when a council decides, there are constraints. I can’t envisage this council jettisoning any of the six movies any more than the ancient church could have jettisoned a popular gospel – despite what Dan Brown would have you believe. Canons come about at least in part through popular consensus, and what might seem like a top-down fiat is often merely putting an imprimatur (literally or metaphorically) on what has been decided by the vox populi.

To all you detractors from the prequels, I ask this: isn’t it worth having Jar Jar Binks in the movies, in order to have his character in Star Wars Angry Birds II?

Do any readers have strong feelings on the Biblical canon, the Star Wars canon, or what we can learn from the comparison between them? If Disney makes a pronouncement on the subject, will that settle for you the matter of whether Han shot first?



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  • Their decision is sure to cause schisms. Was having a conversation with a friend a while back about the validity of using materials from the EU to interpret contested elements in the original trilogy, such as Solo’s statement about parsecs and the Kessel Run. This led to a need to create a taxonomy of different possible approaches to canon in the SW universe. Here’s what we have so far:

    Sola-trilogy restorationist sect: insists that only the pre-special edition trilogy is authoritative

    Sola-trilogy progressive sect: allows for continuing inspiration in the special edition and post-prequel edits to the original trilogy while still denying the authority of extra-trilogy sources.

    Cinematic sect: expands the canon to include the prequels, but denies the authority of books, guides, and video games. There will surely be a schism here in how to respond to the new films.

    The Talmudists: grant a level of authority to the extra-cinematic sources, but still consider them to have a level of secondary sacredness to the films, especially the original trilogy. Many uses of authorized extra-cinematic sources to interpret the original trilogy fits well within this sect’s approach.

    The Catholics: grant equal authority to authorized extra-cinematic literature and video games, considering them to be part of the inspired and authoritative development of Star Wars doctrine. I suspect that some in this group will accept the new films, while others will object that Disney does not have proper authority. It’ll be the two popes situation all over again.

  • hisstoryman

    This is almost certainly not about the existing movies but rather about 3rd party additions: novels, comics, video games, the Christmas Special (MY EYES! MY EYES!) and the like.